According to one report of Heal effects institute , in the United States, the pollution air causes the deaths of 7 million people a year. Outdoor air pollution is the sixth leading cause of early death in the world in the face of alcohol, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, all ages and gender. According to the report, in 2016, it caused the death of 4.3 million deaths worldwide. China and India account for more than half of the deaths due to this pollution.
A very uneven concentration
95% of the world’s population breathe toxic air. The main cause of this deadly pollution is the emission of fine particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, more commonly known as PM2.5. The concentration of fine particles in relation to the population exceeds WHO recommendations , the World Organization of Health . It recommends not to exceed 10 μg / m 3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air). According to the report, nearly 60% of the world’s population lives in areas where fine particles even exceed the WHO interim air quality target of 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
This concentration of particles is very uneven. Thus, the continents most concerned are Africa and Asia. In Niger, for example, the concentration of fine particles exceeds 240 micrograms per cubic meter of air. In contrast, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden have a concentration of fine particles that does not exceed 8 micrograms per cubic meter of air. This makes them the countries least affected by external pollution. In France, the concentration of fine particles remains stable. Since 2005 it has been fixed at 12 micrograms.
In total, since 2010, the concentration of fine particles in the air compared to the global population has increased by 10%. And the effects of this fine particles on health are as multiple as alarming. Thus, they can be the cause of heart disease, cardiovascular accidents, lung cancer or respiratory accidents.
Indoor air pollution
The report also addresses the issue of indoor air pollution. In 2016, it caused the deaths of 2.6 million people. It is the eighth leading cause of death in the world. Indoor air pollution is due to the use of solid fuels such as manure or wood, to heat or cook. Thus, the researchers specify that ” people living in a house using solid fuels can cope with a PM2.5 concentration twenty times higher than the WHO recommendation not to exceed 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air “.
But the report points out that the number of households using this type of fuel has dropped significantly, from 3.6 billion in 1990 to 2.4 billion today. This is due to the growing awareness of populations of the risks involved in their use.